The second stage of the 2008 Tour de Georgia will start in Statesboro and end up in Augusta 116.9 miles later, having wound its way through flat-to-rolling terrain along the eastern edge of Georgia. If you look closely at the course map, you’ll see that – in a rare display of cooperation between these Southern states – Georgia’s actually letting South Carolina in on the action with a quick trip across the Savannah River for the peloton. The riders return for a circuit finish in downtown Augusta. It’s unknown whether anyone’s heading out for a round of golf afterwards.

The stage is scheduled to start at 11a and finish between 3:30 and 4p. You can get the terrain profile and map (as PDFs) or you can check out a composite from (provided in partnership with WCSN).

The stage starts with the following leader jerseys:

  • AT&T Georgia Leader Jersey: Ivan Dominguez (CUB), Toyota-United Pro Cycling Team
  • Georgia Power Sprint Leader’s Jersey*: Greg Henderson (NZL), Team High Road
  • GE Energy Best Young Rider Leader’s Jersey: Nicholas Saunderson (AUS), Jelly Belly Cycling Team
  • Georgia Lottery Most Aggressive Jersey: Scott Nydam (USA), BMC Racing Team
  • * Worn by Henderson due to Dominguez holding Leader jersey.

There are two sprint points opportunities, and with a KOM “climb” thrown in for good measure on the run in to Augusta (nevermind that there’s actually a slightly bigger climb earlier in the stage). Weather looks to be much the same as Monday’s stage.

Who to watch? Well, Toyota-United will presumably be interested in defending the leader’s jersey, so one would expect them to cover any attempted breaks. However, Dominguez isn’t a GC threat, and they won’t burn too many matches to preserve that position. As with stage one, most any team could take stage two, though the smart money may limit it to the teams with real sprinters given the high likelihood of a bunch finish in Augusta. Look for Slipstream’s Tyler Farrar to be interested in making up for having flatted just before Monday’s sprint, and maybe CSC’s Haedo or Rock Racing’s Freddy Rodriguez reminding us that they’re among – if not the, along with Dominguez – sprint talents in the race.

Finally, music fans should appreciate the broad range of musical history you can find along this stage. Macon may not have made the Tour de Georgia schedule this year, but Macon’s own Allman Brothers can still make an appearance with the Statesboro Blues. And who can think of Augusta without thinking of The Hardest Working Man In Show Business? And if it’s the Augusta National Golf Club that comes to mind, well, JB’s got you covered there, too.

– this first appeared at